Saturday, January 31, 2009

ER Visit

My poor Elijah bug, three weeks ago he woke up in the middle of the night with a terrible ear ache. We waited until morning, called the pediatrician and found out that he had a severe ear infection to the point of his ear drum rupturing. OUCH! That just sound incredibly painful to me. They put him in antibiotics, both oral and ear drops, and I can honestly say he only took about 70% of the 10 day dosage because it was a constant battle to get him to take the yucky Augmenten each day. He wasn't complaining anymore, he said he was feeling much better and I assumed he was better and we were just waiting for his three week follow-up appointment to make sure it was all gone.

Fast forward two and a half weeks.. Only a few more days to go until we go back to doctors office to check on ears. I was pretty confident he was healed. He was fine and playful all day Friday until about 8pm, when he came running into Tom and I screaming saying his ear was hurting again. What? Where did that come from? After going through what we went through the last time I decided I wanted to sleep a little bit that night so I took him into the ER. One look and they said they would be crying if that were their ear too. It was very red and very infected. So a shot of rocephin and some motrin and we're on our way home to get some rest. Due to his pain level they sent us home with 3 doses of Vicoden...and boy did we need it come 2am. Poor guy, again he was in severe pain, and...the same ear drum as two week prior ruptured and there was a lot of drainage out his ear. Needless to say, I will be calling the ENT doctor next week. At our last appointment they decided against putting ear tubes in Elijah because he was "growing out of ear aches". Please keep lil man in your prayers I hate to see my kids in pain.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Whole Wheat Choc. Chip Cookies

I have had several requests for the recipe. Ask and you shall receive:

3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
2 cups Gold Medal® whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 package (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips (2 cups)


1. Heat oven to 375ºF.
2. Mix sugars, butter, vanilla and egg in large bowl. Stir in flour, baking soda and salt (dough will be stiff). Stir in chocolate chips. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet.
3. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light brown (centers will be soft). Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet. Cool on wire rack.

I actually found this recipe on the back of my flour bag and you can find LOTS more great recipes here: www.GoldMedalWholeWheat.com

ENJOY!!!! We sure did..I'll be making these again very soon :)


~Stacy

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

What to do on a snow day?

Today this was the scene outside out house:
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This is proof that we have at least two feet of snow outside, this desperately needing trimmed shrub is about three feet tall and is nestled in the corner of our house:


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So whats one to do??
How about take a nap:
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How about bake some whole wheat chocolate chip cookies in our favorite spring time dress:

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Then once they're baked someone has to sample them:

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OR How about being creative and crafting a new guinea pig box for your pet. The house includes a welcome mat, a mailbox to put carrots in, and windows to peek out of. Very Cute!!
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Sounds like a pretty productive day to me :)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Wanna WIN something?

A friend has a blog giveaway going on right now and all you have to do to enter is add a comment to her page, that's worth $100 certificate to a cool online store isn't it?

HURRY you have until February 2nd!

http://thebalsisfamily.blogspot.com/2009/01/bloggy-giveaway-gift-certificate-to.html

Good Luck!!



~Stacy

How do I create MORE time?

As a parent there are days I reflect on how I am as a parent. I think the biggest part to being a good parent is being able to spend "quality" time with your children. January through April (tax season for hubby) are especially times where I have to look over things and weed out the unnecessary parts of life that just add to chaos. Having five children is enough to fill anyone's schedule, but having twins with special needs and so many services to enhance their abilities I tend to try to find new ideas to help things run a little smoother. I am looking for ideas for good chore charts that are motivating to kids and any rewards you may have used...money, computer/tv time, special parent time together, overnights with friends..etc. What chores are appropriate for what ages, and how much time do you give for each job to be completed?

Caleb and Isaac have finally begun playing with toys. Lots of toys, they play with one, then find another, then another, then another, and now I need to teach them how to clean up after themselves. Mind you, I'm not complaining in the lest, I've very excited to see them realizing how toys work. Its very cute to see them bopping their heads to music, pushing buttons to make things work, and even watching them fight with each other because they don't want to share their fun toy with their brother. Its just that they are adding to the mess these days.

Tristin and Camille are totally like me when I was their age. Sorry Mom, how did you do it...LOL They have clothes thrown all over their bedroom floor, even though their dirty clothes hamper is right in the corner of their room about three feet away from where they lay on the floor. When I do laundry they do put it away, its getting them to NOT throw it on the floor after they wear them that's the problem.

Elijah, he's the man. He puts his clothes away on laundry day. We hang up a weeks worth of school clothes so he's ready for school each day but now he's starting to throw his clothes on the floor each night...UGH Monkey see, monkey do.

I'm ready to try something new so we all can free up some of our time to be able to do quality time together. We got a Wii for Christmas and just recently the Wii Fit, we love playing that together and its been really fun playing together as a team and taking turns and giving high fives, and cheering each other on. That has been great for us!! I'd like to read more books to the kids, to play more board games, to sit and snuggle a little more than we already to.

So go ahead, be critical if need be, help me free up more of my time by helping me figure out how to organize my children's chores. If they did more work around here it would free up some of my time for them, if they would only realize that. And I should say that I would imagine if anyone has this down to a T themselves, they would have a book written already ;) But its worth asking eh??

PS.. Tristin, if you reading this.. your welcome to offer advice to your mama too!!


~Stacy

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Giving ALL Glory to God

This was the sermon at today's church service. It really made me think about myself and if I give enough Glory to God on a daily basis. And honestly, there are many times in life that I may forget to do this as I should. Having a wonderful husband and five beautiful children is something that I try remember to thank the Lord for daily. Something that many may find difficult to understand is that I also thank the Lord for the opportunity and honor given to me to raise two beautiful identical twin boys both with Down Syndrome and PDD Autism. It may seem hard to believe that I am thankful for such a thing. This has made me grow as a Christian, wife, mother and friend more that I would have without them.

Statistically there are very few sets of identical twins both with Down Syndrome. This was posted on a Yahoo Group board I belong to and I've saved it as there IS NO real study on the frequency of identical twins with Down Syndrome published anywhere. This is interesting reading and again I give all Glory to God for allowing me the opportunity to be given these wonderful boys. Again this is just an estimation from another parent, but still very interesting:


The estimated frequency of twins with Down syndrome can be found with simple math.

Roughly:

Fraternal twins (not counting in vitro impregnations) occur here in every 100 births. In some areas of the world the rate is higher, because the mothers more frequently ovulate two eggs. It can be an inherited trait.

Down syndrome births are estimated at one in every 800. The interesting thing, I have heard, is that roughly half of all spontaneously aborted fetuses have Down syndrome, so the rate of conception is higher. (What outrages me--and I am sure most of us in this group--is that a frequent decision to electively abort is that the fetus has been found to have DS. I just went on a Buddy Walk, laughing all the way with some wonderful people who had the good fortune not to be aborted.) Now, off the soap box...

The occurrence of fraternal twins born with Down syndrome is 100 X 800, or 80,000.

The frequency of identical twins is constant worldwide--about 1 in every 300 births. Three hundred times 800 equals 240,000. With about 4 million births in the U.S. every year, about a dozen of them involve twins with Down syndrome.

You ask about the birth of fraternal twins both with DS? One hundred times 800 X 800 again for the second child. In the U.S., that would occur about once every 16 years.

Challenge me on this if you can find better data.


Thank you again Lord for this privilege ;)

~Stacy

EDITED to add that up statistic is for identical twins with DS, we have an Autism diagnosis ontop of that so we're even more rare.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Thank you Bethany!!!!

Blog makeover already??

I have had so much fun tonight planning and giving orders to a friend of mine from DownSyn.com. (I gave out nice orders) She was saying she enjoys tinkering around with blogs and she's been reading up on HTML and getting to know the ins and outs of developing blogs. I asked if she could give me some advice or help me out and she so graciously spent time with me tonight and did an absolutely wonderful job. What talent she has and oh what a story she has. I have enjoyed following her blog for some time now. She has the most beautiful children and just recently added another beauty to her family through adoption. If you get a minute and want to see some kids that are almost as cute as mine....LOL... here's her blog http://thebalsisfamily.blogspot.com

Thanks for a great job Bethany, I'm so excited to have a blog I'll love to look at everyday :)

~Stacy

Cute Clip...Twin Talk

I caught a bit of the boys after dinner the other night on my camera and thought I'd share it. They have been very vocal lately. They still do not have even one spoken word yet, but we're working on it. They hum ALOT and they have the EE and the Ah sound down pat. Some days they do great with signing and other times they won't sign anything you ask of them, as they did this night. Even so, they're both just so darn cute :)

Just wanted to share this cute quick clip, Caleb is on the left and Isaac on the right:


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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Snowball Dance '09

Snowball Dance '09

Tonight was the kids' annual Snowball Dance that the PTA holds at their elementary school for kindergarten through 5th grade. Tristin and Camille have been there before and I knew they were eager and wanting to go. I hadn't given it to much thought about Elijah, being that he's in kindergarten and he's a boy and he's not much of a dancer, I guess I was thinking that he wouldnt be interested and probably would just stay home with me and the twins. Boy was I wrong... As he was playing on the computer I went over to him and this was our conversation:

MOM: so buddy you stayin home with mom and boys tonight?
ELIJAH: looking at me rather surprised "NO mom, Megan is waiting for me and I'm going to dress nice for her"
MOM: WHAT!! Are you going on a date Elijah?
ELIJAH: Well, yes mom, it is a dance."

As I was helping all the kids get dressed and talked about minding their manners and acting like ladies and gentlemen, Elijah says "Mom if Megan asks me to dance do I have to hold her close?" WoW what pressure on 5 year olds??? LOL I told him no it was fine to just hold her hand and stand back.


I asked each child what was the best part of the dance tonight:

Tristin
Tristin
"I mostly just watched the kids dancing and stuff. I was surprised and happy that I didn't hear any bad words, that made me really happy."

Camille
Camille
"I had alot of fun hanging out with my friend Amy."

Elijah
Elijah
"I liked singing We Will Rock You. It was really fun for my first dance but they played alot of girlie songs."




There are days...

You know what I mean.. there are just some days that your so happy to be who you are and where you are in life and then there are other days that just dont go as planned and your discouraged and depressed. Today I actually had a wonderful day. Ladies bible study at my house, it was a special study as we watched a movie first called One Night With the King, a story of Esther. It was a very good movie and we all enjoyed our time together. Then right after the movie we headed out for a luncheon together. It was truly a nice nice day.

I come home and catch up on my emails and a video that I watched will be one of those that just stick with you for a long time and its so great and amazing how one persons story can touch you in such a way to inspire to you be a better person. I feel that my twins are an inspiration to me and many others and what they have endured in their short little three years of life is more than many of us have ever been through or could imagine being put through. As I watched the following video, I could only think that one day my twins will have a story like this one, that we can use life's challenges to teach others the love of God and teach that each one of us is unique, with different abilities and callings in life. I hope you enjoy this video as much as I did..



Have a Blessed Day!

Stacy

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

New President




Today I have been sitting around folding mountains of laundry and watching the 6 hour Presidential Inauguration of our new president Barack Obama. I confess I did not vote for the man in the election, but now that he's here in this position I will pray for him and the challenges that he will face with our nation. It was emotional to witness the first African American accepting such a position of honor and I pray that he will lead our country in the right direction. He sure has a job ahead of him, but I feel that he's up for the challege and I'm anxious to see where he takes the U.S. in the near future.

I will be sure to discuss today with the children tonight and make this a learning experience that they will remember in their future. Its important to embed history into them when you can while they're young. The great great thing about my kids is that they all truly enjoy learning and they have their own ways about them. Trisitn has been learning things in school about presidents and quite honestly she's been teaching me a thing to two.

God Bless the entire Obama family ....and their children are just so darling, can't wait to see what the kids bring to the White House.

Stacy



Learning is like rowing upstream;
To not advance is to fall back.
-Chinese proverb

Sunday, January 18, 2009

GO STEELERS!!

Today the Steelers play the Ravens in a playoff game towards the SuperBowl. I just wanted to post a Good Luck picture of Camille wearing her cute hairbow designed by Ginny M Crafts out of Pittsburgh. These are great bows and a great gift for any little girl on your list. Just wanted to give a little plug to my friend Gina :)

Football games are good excuses to eat pizza and wings so I'm off to get the dough made in the bread machine.

GO Steelers!!!
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Saturday, January 17, 2009

Who took your photos???

Well, I'm glad you asked.. LOL I have a friend from my MOPS group who is an excellent photographer and as I was speaking to her one day about something I will post in an upcoming blog, she offered to help us out and take a family photo for us. She did an excellent job and I love sharing all the photos with you.

This is my favorite family photo:
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This is my favorite silly family photo:
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And this is me showing some love to my hubby:
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Her name is Molly O'Bryon Welpott and here's a link to her blog: http://mollysworldofmuses.blogspot.com/ she does terrific work and a reasonable price and she has a really cool offer right now going on to enter your child into a national photo contest. Check her out!

I will share more photos with you on a later blog when I have time to downsize some more of the photos. It was really fun to spend a few hours with all thekids getting their photos done and I dont think Tom and I have had a photo taken together for a LONG time, so I was happy to have that too.

I will leave you with one funny photo that I love to watch people look at for the first time. We were trying to get the twins to corporate with having their photos taken so we put them on the couch and was tickling them, as we leaned them over the couch to get in a good tickle on the belly I told Molly to take a picture of my upside down boys. When people look at this photo they turn their heads sideways or turn the photo the wrong way...nope they're upside down.
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I've decided to end each blog this year with some words of wisdom, Tom gave me a little magnetic calender for Christmas with words of wisdom and I'm enjoying them so much I thought I would document some to of them so I can remember them :)

Today is absolutely today.
Today is not yesterday.
Today is not tomorrow.
-Ogui

Stacy

Friday, January 16, 2009

Blogging

I have thought about blogging for quite some time now. I thought it would be a great way to write down my thoughts and the crazy things that happen on a daily basis here in our household. Then I thought how cool, a baby book online, why not keep stories of the kids that they can go and read forever and ever. Then I started getting nervous about people seeing "to much" of our family, and my husband in not really with sharing our lives with everyone, but I have read and followed so many blogs over the past year I have been inspired to just give it a try. So for family and friends, I hope that you'll enjoy seeing a bit more of us and I look forward to seeing what this journey may bring to me and my family's entertainment.

A little about us for those that don't know us. I have been married to my high school sweetheart for 13+ years. We started dating while I was in high school and he was in college and we dated for awhile and broke up. About two or three years later our paths crossed again and the rest is history. He is a CPA and I'm a stay-at-home mom to our five wonderful, beautiful, amazing children. Tristin is 11 and in the 5th grade. She beautiful, artistic, and highly intelligent. Camille is 7 and in 1st grade. She is also very beautiful, my girly girl and highly spirited, she gives me a run for my money most days. Elijah is 5, and in kindergarten. He loves school, he's all boy, and he's a joy to be around. Caleb and Isaac are 3, they are in preschool. They receive physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, a developemental teacher and TSS services for a total of 20+ hours each of services a week. They are busy boys. Oh, and they are identical twin boys both with Down Syndrome, PDD Autism, Sensory Intigration Dysfunction, asthma, and swallowing issues. They are the light of my life and a blessing from God to our family.

I hope to be able to share our ups and downs in our journey through life. I am so hopful that this year will be even more amazing than the last and I'm happy to have you all to share it with me.

Until next time,

Stacy

Hanzely Clan


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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Baby It's COLD Outside..

The past two days weather has created a 2 hour school delay each morning. Today was upto a warm 12 degrees. They are calling for a high of 6 degrees for tomorrow.

I spent my day today cleaning the house as I've procrastinated doing so over the past week with knowing we were having an evaluation meeting for services for the twins. Its nice to hear the progress they have made over the past four months, yet its still pretty discouraging to hear the significant delays they still have. Mind you, I'm not upset about it, its just hearing a bunch of people sitting around your table talking about the boys and the goals they have set for them not being met and things still needing to address with them. I'm so happy we live in PA and we have the opportunities that we have with the boys to help them.

But boy, is it cold outside :)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

That WASN'T Chocolate!!!

Days here at the Hanzely house are never dull. Somedays we're all healthy and happy and go about our daily living without a hitch. Other days, there is illness or disappointment of some sort that causes us all to have a bad day. Whatever the day my bring it is NEVER dull, how could it be with five children? I have decided to start this blog with the intention to always remember the good, the bad, the funny, the sad and share some of it with you, my family and friends.

Its just kinda funny that what happened today pushed me over the edge to jump on the blogging bandwagon and just do it. Pretty normal day, we just got a new 42" Plasma tv last night so we've been lounging around watching tv today being lazy. I went out to check on dinner and around the corner comes Isaac and I saw a mark on his face that looked like chocolate, as I approached him to wipe it off I realized, it wasn't chocolate, he had found what mommy always changes in his diaper when he's stinky.. Oh boy, time to unpack the onsies again :) At least he's curious and that's a good thing!